Blog - Canada (part 2)

Added on Friday, 2018-08-10 20:52 CEST in category Traveling
(This blog post is part 2 of a series. You can start with part 1.)

Gananoque & Thousand Islands

After the Toronto area we headed east towards Quebec. First stop: Gananoque and the Thousand Islands.

Gananoque isn't a very big town, and the contrast with Toronto and Niagara Falls immediately became apparent. For most of the rest of our vacation, we enjoyed beautiful sceneries, empty roads, beautiful nature, and very hospitable people. (To be fair: the latter we encountered everywhere :).

Gananoque cafeGananoque trainGananoque courtesy crosswalk (!)

Don't you just love the courtesy crosswalk? :)

From Gananoque we did a boat tour around the Thousand Islands. (Bit of an understatement; there are actually 1864 islands :), with an island being defined as a bit of land with at least two trees on it.)

Thousand Islands islandThousand Islands castleThousand Islands manor

Charleston Provincial Park & surroundings

Second stop: Charleston Provincial Park & surroundings, where we walked along locks, lakes, and through the forest.

Charleston LockViviana next to the lake Viviana in the lakeCharleston Lake Charleston baby backpack (1)Charleston baby backpack (2)

Ottawa

The next big city we visited was Ottawa, the bilingual capital of Canada: half of the city is English-speaking, the other half French-speaking.

Ottawa confederation-squareOttawa parliamentOttawa lock The World Needs More CanadaObama cookiesBig-ass spider :) (Guess who came to visit that cookie store… :P)

We quickly noticed that whereas the English-speaking parts of Canada have traffic signs etc. in both English and French, the French-speaking parts (entire Quebec, pretty much) do not reciprocate: everything was in French, and in French only.

Some people didn't speak English at all, so we had to try and get by with our broken high-school French. Or should I say: some people pretended not to speak English at first. How insulting…

Montreal

We'd heard good things about Montreal, Canada's 2nd biggest city, but due to circumstance it didn't go all that great… (Montreal is not very stroller-accessible, public transport was a bit of a mess, and it rained a lot :P) Despite all that, there were quite a few nice sights to be seen. Also, we tried poutine, so that was interesting :)

Montreal streetMontreal ferris wheel Montreal dressMontreal skyscrapers Montreal cathedral outsideMontreal cathedral insidePoutine

Laurentides

After Montreal we hit the open road again, cruising along Autoroute 15 through the Aut Laurentides. Besides gorgeous mountain views, I saw what may very well have been one of the longest trains in the world, carrying hundreds of 40' containers.

On our way back towards Quebec we passed by Fort Chambly, built to protect against the Iroquois.

Fort ChamblyInside Fort ChamblyAdirondack chair

These so-called Adirondack chairs can be found all over Canada.

Water!

Before we headed to Quebec City itself, we decided to go look at some water. While not quite as impressive as Niagara Falls, Montmorency Falls were a lot more accessible to view from above, below, and from the side. (I.e., there was no need to walk to another country to do so :P)

Montmorency Falls (from the left)Montmorency Falls (from above)Montmorency Falls (from the right)

Quite a bit further downstream, where the St. Lawrence river is over 20 km wide, we did a boat tour to go whale watching. The boat wasn't allowed to come closer than about 100 m, but through binoculars you could see the beluga and minke whales, of whom there were plenty, really quite well.

Whale watching (whale)Whale watching (on the boat)

Quebec City

The last big city we visited was Quebec City, which we were told was the most European city in Canada. And indeed, I could very well imagine it lying somewhere in France.

Castle on the hillCafe viewCute house Trompe-l'œilStreet performers

Going home

After we left gorgeous Quebec City, we had time to squeeze in one more family visit at the airport in Toronto :), before eventually heading back home.

We'd like to extend a heart-felt thank you to my extended family in Canada, who has helped made this a fantastic trip, and we hope to see you all soon!